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Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?

r.padgett 16 Apr 12 - 04:23 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Apr 12 - 04:33 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Apr 12 - 04:33 AM
GUEST 16 Apr 12 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Apr 12 - 07:53 AM
r.padgett 16 Apr 12 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Apr 12 - 09:19 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Apr 12 - 09:25 AM
Vic Smith 16 Apr 12 - 09:44 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Apr 12 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Apr 12 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Apr 12 - 10:15 AM
John P 16 Apr 12 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Jean 16 Apr 12 - 10:42 AM
matt milton 16 Apr 12 - 10:57 AM
r.padgett 16 Apr 12 - 11:50 AM
matt milton 16 Apr 12 - 12:06 PM
r.padgett 16 Apr 12 - 01:07 PM
glueman 16 Apr 12 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Charles 16 Apr 12 - 02:24 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Apr 12 - 02:34 PM
glueman 16 Apr 12 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Apr 12 - 04:10 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Apr 12 - 04:22 PM
glueman 16 Apr 12 - 04:39 PM
Anne Neilson 16 Apr 12 - 05:07 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Apr 12 - 05:18 PM
r.padgett 16 Apr 12 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,guest 16 Apr 12 - 07:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 16 Apr 12 - 09:05 PM
johncharles 17 Apr 12 - 02:52 AM
r.padgett 17 Apr 12 - 03:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Apr 12 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 17 Apr 12 - 05:25 AM
r.padgett 18 Apr 12 - 03:23 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 12 - 05:05 AM
glueman 18 Apr 12 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Apr 12 - 06:48 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 12 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Apr 12 - 08:24 AM
johncharles 18 Apr 12 - 02:35 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Apr 12 - 03:26 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Apr 12 - 05:14 PM
johncharles 18 Apr 12 - 06:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Apr 12 - 07:20 PM
r.padgett 19 Apr 12 - 04:03 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 12 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Apr 12 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Apr 12 - 05:20 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 12 - 07:09 AM
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Subject: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 04:23 AM

English Tradition folk music and singers seems to be a poorer cousin of Scottish Living Tradition song and music

I wonder if we can't put forward some names of those who should go down in the history books as pursuers of English Living Traditional music

Examples/ nominations? these are largely in the category of "Revivalist" and NOT "source" singers such as Fred Jordan/Harry Cox and Sam Larner

Nic Jones, Tony Rose (sadly passed on), Dave Burland, Martin Whyndham Read, Martin Carthy, Brian Peters ~~~~ others

Now the criteria for this? any definitions??

Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 04:33 AM

Go back a generation to Ewan MacColl, Bert Lloyd, John Hasted, Henry Morris, Russ Quaye...

In the generation you are concerned with: Tim Laycock, Brian & Ruth Brittain, The Watersons, Young Tradition [how come Peter Bellamy not on your list!?]...

What a masculine list ~~ what of June Tabor, Isla Cameron, Maddy Prior, Hylda Syms, Brenda Wootton ...?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 04:33 AM

... and where is Bob Davenport?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 07:45 AM

Sandra Goddard from Lewes in Sussex.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 07:53 AM

Where does one start? Or indeed finish? As for criteria, personally I would include anyone who's ever been moved to research, learn, sing and truly cherish a Traditional Song - though I'd have to give a very special medal indeed to Jim Eldon as one of our greatest Living Tradition Standard Bearers.

My favourite singers otherwise:

Male - Dave Peters of Preston.
Female - Esme Ryder of Northumberland.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 08:59 AM

Right the list is open, however I would like to perhaps modify this to persons living i.e.

Current Living Tradition Standard Bearers actively out there singing over the last 30 years say! and alive at least and maybe still singing!

A different category for those no longer with us and who fall into different definitions, such as McColl for his song writing and historical preservation of the Social history of working life through song

Could lose my way on this. I deliberately left my original list short for comments and additions as mentioned lots to be mentioned, male and female ENGLISH singers in the traditional style

Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 09:19 AM

Could lose my way on this.

With pronouncements like such as McColl for his song writing and historical preservation of the Social history of working life through song I'd say you were already pretty lost. MacColl was a highly selective agenda driven left-wing propagandist who mythologised the struggle of the working class with as much ease as he mythologised his own life. If you accept simplistic romantic myth as Social History (which is so very often the Folk Way, alas) then Ewan's your man.

Otherwise, what exactly do you mean by Living Tradition Standard Bearer?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 09:25 AM

Here we go again, someone mentions Ewan MacColl and one of the Ewan bashers is straight in.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 09:44 AM

The opening post states:-

English Tradition folk music and singers seems to be a poorer cousin of Scottish Living Tradition song and music

I wonder if we can't put forward some names of those who should go down in the history books as pursuers of English Living Traditional music


I had an English father and a Scots mother who had four children, two born in Scotland and two in England, so it's probably not surprising that I cannot see much of a difference, myself, so of names that have not been mention so far how about:-
Jeannie Robertson, Bob Copper, Jane Turriff, Queen Caroline Hughes, Willie Scott, Phoebe Smith, Davy Stewart, Harry Cox, Jimmy MacBeath, Fred Jordan.

Now, I chose the first ten names that came into my head and looking through the list I notice that they have all now passed on, but that apart from Harry and Caroline, I got to hear them all live several times and talk to each of them at least once, five of them I presented at folk clubs that I have run.

A thought occurs whilst looking through my list of ten. If I had been able to ask each of these ten to explain their background in one phrase, how many of them would have said English, how many Scots and how many Traveller/Gypsy.

And if you are looking for a living iconic figure of English traditional song, please don't forget a close friend and neighbour of mine, Shirley Collins


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 10:13 AM

Vic: The OP distinctly said he wasn't looking for true source traditional singers like those you mention, but

- 'the category of "Revivalist" and NOT "source" singers such as Fred Jordan/Harry Cox and Sam Larner' -

so your list, tho unexceptionable in their category, were/are explicitly the ones he was not seeking.

Shirley Collins must of course go along with June & Maddy & Isla on my female singers list above. Also Peta Webb.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 10:13 AM

The OP also states:

these are largely in the category of "Revivalist" and NOT "source" singers such as Fred Jordan/Harry Cox and Sam Larner

Whilst it's easy to draw lines in the sand between Traditional and Revival, it's not so easy between England and Scotland.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 10:15 AM

Coo. Those posts must have crossed in seconds of each other.

Is this just going to be another list of celebs then?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: John P
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 10:22 AM

Everyone who plays traditional music is a standard bearer in this sense. Most of the names mentioned here are famous for it, but that doesn't make them any better at it. I don't like popularity contests in music in general and folk music in particular. There are dozens of dedicated standard bearers right here on Mudcat. And thousands more, everywhere, playing traditional folk music.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Jean
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 10:42 AM

Pete Coe, The Wilson Family, The Carter Family, Vic Legg?????


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: matt milton
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 10:57 AM

@Suibhne: I think the OP meant by "Living Tradition Singers" that the singers are currently living, still alive.

As opposed to singers who, in their time, embodied some kind of "living tradition".

At least, I *think* that what he means... I'm not sure he's entirely sure himself.

Anyway, if we confine it to people currently alive, well there's plenty...

Shirley Collins, Copper family, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Anne Briggs, Brian Peter, James Reynard, Sam Lee, Unthanks, Roy Bailey, Martin simpson, O'Hooley & Tidow and on and on...

just look at the listings on folk clubs in England for your evidence.

Actually, I'd say the numerous floorsingers whose names I've not remembered I've heard at Sharp's Folk Club and at Cellar Upstairs and at Musical Traditions nights â€" all in London â€" do as much to keep traditional songs sung as any 'famous' names anyone might suggest.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 11:50 AM

Well that is interesting!

Can anyone please tell me how the Scots LT magazine defines Living Tradition Bearers? as I do not know

We might then be able to progress and define similarly, or not?

Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: matt milton
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 12:06 PM

sorry, I didn't realise you were referring to a specific magazine (two specific magazines?).

"English Tradition folk music and singers seems to be a poorer cousin of Scottish Living Tradition song and music"

I find that quite an opaque sentence. I'm not sure what is a proper name in it and what is simply adjectival.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 01:07 PM

Followed by ~~

"I wonder if we can't put forward some names of those who should go down in the history books as pursuers of English Living Traditional music"

Re your comments above, seems some what off the point, sorry that my grammar should get in the way of the question

Many people follow the Traditional folk music of Scotland and England as reported and exemplarised by the Living Tradition magazine

Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 01:49 PM

"Is this just going to be another list of celebs then?" -Suibhne

It does appear to be another list of influential folk singers. I'm not sure why living is so important, one may have died last week and their influence be undiminished. If it is a thread about influence I'd suggest folk rockers like Maddy Prior, Martin Carthy and Sandy Denny are at least as important as source singers in exposing folk to the general public.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Charles
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 02:24 PM

I would imagine it could be hard being a 'Standard Bearer' if you were no longer living! The Standard Bearers Concert at Stonehaven festival each year always has living performers!


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 02:34 PM

Louis Killen, Johnny Handle, Tom Gillfellon, + the High Level Ranters instrumentalists, Alistair Anderson & Colin Ross.

Clerihew I had published in Folk Review once about 40 years ago -

When Ross
Is at a loss
Gilfellon
Will fill in


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 02:43 PM

I have no idea what a standard bearer is in this context. What is the standard, who bears it and how do we tell?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 04:10 PM

Perhaps we should take our cue from the thread title. 'Tradition' in quates suggests some sort of ironical take on the concept (God forbid that it should be anything more), rather than 'Living Tradition' which would echo the name of the magazine, as has been suggested, but I'm at all not convinced. Are we talking artistic standards here (what Wiki calls norms & requirements) or standards in a military or missionary sense (i.e. flags & banners)? Both might be applicable to the Folkie Zeal which favours nice slick well-rehearsed talented chops, whilst constantly braying about fleshing out the dwindling numbers in the local folk club which isn't as well attended as it was back in 1973. Myself, I have no taste for Standards in either sense; what I seek is a far richer dust which is available to anyone who is moved to participate without feeling as if they're part of a religion*. I have no problem whatsoever with the Living part, however. I think we ought to do more of it whilst we have the chance. How about a thread simply entitled Living?

* If you fancy a giggle I made some smart remarks earlier today on this aspect of things over on the interminable Young Earth Creationism Eureka!
thread. I'm especialluy pleased with the possibility of nonesense refrains actually being glossolalia.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 04:22 PM

Well, I nominate Raymond Padgett!


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: glueman
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 04:39 PM

Having saved an hour of precious lifetime by not reading that thread SA, I can only respond by saying folkies, science fiction fans, IT professionals and cyclists, have always been over-represented in the New Atheist ranks IMO. The subject would make a fascinating sociological study - while not getting us one jot nearer the truth of the matter. I posted a nice link to the parlous shibboleths of academic science the other day, but no-one took the bait.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 05:07 PM

How about adding Chris Coe?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 05:18 PM

Frankie Armstrong, Heather Wood, Royston Wood...


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 06:56 PM

and I nominate Steve Gardham!

So do we have a LT Standard Bearer definition from the Scots?

Living Tradition Standard Bearers for England?

Ray

some good nominated musicians and singers in the Traditional vein, but still a bit vague without a definition, maybe!


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 07:13 PM

Hannah Hutton of Northumberland a true standard bearer of tradition who has enriched many a singers life.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 09:05 PM

standard bearer - its an odd choice of phrase - it makes me think of Roman Legions coming and beating the crap out of everyone that gets in their way of imposing Pax Romana - the 1954 definition presumabumblebee.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: johncharles
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 02:52 AM

As soon as I see the words "Standard Bearer" or even worse "Song Carrier" I know there will follow a list of the great and the good who never sing a song without having comprehensively researched its history and analysed its meaning and only sing it to preserve it for posterity. As if anyone would want to sing songs purely for enjoyment or, "excuse me", money.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 03:05 AM

Morning John
I think most of us singers hear a song and if we can join in or it has a nice chorus or whatever will be interested in finding it and learning it

Personally I always found that I could not learn a song and retain it if it was not or doesn't say something, or that I can/could empathise with the story some way. Saying something by and large. Folk song is of course an Art form too and the music a form of Art

So in this way songs have and are being preserved and of course new songs/music written and evolved

These are the heart songs I feel and are sung for enjoyment of others as well as self

Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 03:27 AM

In a way all the theorising is in vain. Future generations, living lives undreamed of and in circumstances unimaginable will surely decide what is folksong. Just as our generation has made its mind up about what constitutes folksong - living lives so different from the four loom weaver and the farmers who sang about the darby ram and the Lincolnshire poacher.

All we can do is what we believe to be right - but who really knows?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 05:25 AM

folkies, science fiction fans, IT professionals and cyclists, have always been over-represented in the New Atheist ranks IMO

I'm sure it's a good deal wider than that, GM. Atheism is founded on an all inclusive universality in which the psychological causes of belief are just as much a part of things as the culture of the belief itself, or manifestations thereof (scripture, architecture, ritual etc.)   In other words, we're all in it together; all part of a greater human whole which is the context of everything. Christians like to believe they alone are privvy to Truth and Salvation; just as Folkies like to believe that the kind of music they like is inherently different to the myriad of other musical possbilities humanity has been exploring these past 50,000 years or so. But Music and Spirituality is the reserve of each and every one of us - it's as hard-wired as our sexuality and capacity for language, blurring in the hinterlands between Nature-Nurture, forever changing and always diverse - unless you believe that all Hip-Hop sounds the same, unlike Irish diddley-dee or Baroque sonatas or Indian ragas, which are all - er - so very - er - obviously - er - different - to the - er - uninitiated. Sorry, I think that bled through from another thread.

*      

Just as our generation has made its mind up about what constitutes folksong

As far as it exists at all, such a consensus is surely restricted to an elite of rabidly orthodox Trappist-Traddies. I think, for the rest of us there is too much of a glorious blurring of Popular Song idioms from Border Minstrely to Music Hall to Blues to Hip-Hop (and the folkloric usages thereof) to say for sure what might constitute a Folk Song other than the sort of thing you might have heard your teacher singing in a folk club circa 1973, but even then it wasn't so very clear cut. But then again, few things are, and for that fact alone I think we really ought to be very thankful.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 03:23 AM

The taditional music of England is certainly a mix of all you mention above

However the Traditional bit is tied up inextricably with historical years, collectors, oral and other performers of the music etc

It is these people who should be applauded for their dedication to the preservation of the English song dance and music culture. Yes even those unsung heroes who support their folk clubs week in week out and have provided a platform for the professionals and new "young thruster"

Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 05:05 AM

"agenda driven left-wing propagandist" "mythologised the struggle of the working class"
Bang goes Harry Cox from the traditional list - you should have heard him talk about about the transportations and the enclosures when he sang Van Dieman's Land.
As for Harry's "that's the way they treated us" when he sang Betsy the Serving Maid.... doesn't bear thinking about!
Walter Pardon often spoke with pride of his family's connection with George Edwards' re-establishing the Agricultural Workers Union - shame on him
I think Sub believes that the question should include "and who didn't hold any political views if they didn't coincide with my own".
And the way Irish Travellers mythologised their history - "making the nails for Christ's hands" and "descended from Irish kings"
Surely it's about time we judged people's contribution to tradititional music by their - well - contribution to traditional music, without putting them through a witch-hunt - Lomax, Lloyd, Seeger (Pete and Peggy), Guthrie.... all would fall at Subs first fence.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: glueman
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 05:47 AM

"Atheism is founded on an all inclusive universality..."

I beg to differ. It's either a straightforward disbelief in a deity (no problem from me there, some of my best friends, etc.). Or it's part of the materialist scientific hegemony with all the unpleasant ideological chicanery that goes with it (lots of issues with that fashionable political nonsense.)
All well off topic though.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 06:48 AM

all would fall at Subs first fence

Ha! Maybe they would at that. Do the working-class need the representation of likes of Ewan & A L Loyd to gather their raw primary experience under their highly partial propagandist umbrellas? Much less dare to speak for such experience in their divisive songs i.e What Did You Do in the Strike, Daddy?, which given Mr MacColl's own less than heroic approach to such - ahem - Theatres of Human Conflict - methinks stands as more than tad hypocritical somehow.

All well off topic though

Never a bad thing on Mudcat, surely?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 07:49 AM

"Do the working-class need the representation of likes of Ewan & A L Loyd".....
We certainly wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the likes of their efforts - plus those of Sharp and his mob - all of whom you have rubbished at one time or another and replaced with what - your own scintillating (for scintillating - substitute destructive) thoughts and efforts.
"What Did You Do in the Strike, Daddy?"
Like in all forms of art - there are all types and standards to be judged and preferred
As Hamish Henderson said; "anybody who gave us 'The Joy of Living' cannot be said to have contributed nothing" - he might have said that about Freeborn Man, or Shoals of Herring or Dirty Old Town or Shellback...... or any of the many hundreds of songs made by Ewan and the other lefties who set the ball rolling again all those years ago.
Wish I had that for my tombstone - don't you?
Do you know the Irish term 'begrudgers'?
One of the first things you learn in the building trade is that it's far easier to pull something down that somebody else has put up than build something yourself.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 08:24 AM

all of whom you have rubbished at one time or another

I'm not rubbishing anyone, just being realistic that's all. I know exactly what we owe to these people, but I'm also interested in their wider humanity too which God knows isn't flawless. The cultural / class issues are complex and far from clear cut - how can you expect them to possibly be otherwise? As for Ewan's songs, they don't interest me in the slightest, but that's as much by way of personal preference as it is by way of being suspicious of the efforts & pet causes of Priviledged Lefty Luvvies to put words into the mouths of the working class. The working-class have always had a musical voice, they still have, just one the Folkies weren't too interested in listening to because it didn't fit into their antiquarian agenda.

I might go back to the musical members of the communities I grew up with in the South-East Northumberland & Durham Coal fields, none of whom were dealing in anything anyone here would call Folk, but were highly valued for their talents in the field of truly Popular Music and Song. The same is as true today as it was then.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 02:35 PM

How about Billy Bragg?


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 03:26 PM

"I'm not rubbishing anyone"
Yes you are - why should you change the habit of a lifetime now?
What you appear to be saying is that folk enthussiasts should not hold political opinions - or at the very least, should not express them publicly in song.
The earliest collection of English songs is to be found in Thomas Wright's 'Political Songs of England From the reign of John to that of Edward II' - half in Latin, half in very difficult to follow English.
I've known you to use the term 'folk police' before now - I can think of nothing more police-ish than to attempt to remove a whole aspect of people's lives and concerns - especially one that has been part of our song repertoire for at least a millenium.
Nobody demands that you listen to MacColl's songs or accepts his politics - but please don't attempt to impose your own dislikes on others.
"I know exactly what we owe to these people"
Do you really?
You appear to have an interest in ballads, yet I wonder if you have the grace to admit that it is thanks to the efforts of MacColl and Lloyd in introducing them to the revival, that you, and others with similar tastes, have an audience for these ballads - you should read what Bronson had to say about their groundbreaking series 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads'.
MacColl breathed life into and passed on to us 137 of the 305 Child Ballads - well worth the description "Standard Bearer" any day, in my book.
"What did you do in the Revival Daddy?"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 05:14 PM

Jim,
I think 'breathed life into' is a particularly apt expression here.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: johncharles
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 06:51 PM

It seems even speaking the same language does not guarentee we understand each other.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 07:20 PM

well some of us are getting old an we haven't understood anything for years - in fact I was bewildered and understood very little even before I got old and gnarled.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: r.padgett
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 04:03 AM

Ooer!

getting interesting again, spleen bursting stuff again!

Not heard from the Scots yet as to a definition of Living Tradition Standard Bearer

Seem to have got into an arguement on the merits of Ewan MacColl had been alive, would have qualified as a singer of Traditional Scots songs certainly

now LIVING SB Traditionalist (lol) singers can we start a list and add to and no unnecessary comments perhaps?
Ray


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 04:11 AM

'breathed life into'
Never struck me that this has been Sub's contribution to the revival - he seems neither to like it or to trust it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 05:04 AM

What you appear to be saying is that folk enthussiasts should not hold political opinions - or at the very least, should not express them publicly in song.

Opinions are really too simplistically subjuctive to be of any use; I'm more interested in the objective interaction & experience of the human whole than the agendas of single-minded politico song-writers hell-bent on their own self-righteousness where the ideology comes first and the music is just a means to that end. Of course when the central issue is Humanity, then that struggle is manifest as a common cause without the likes of MacColl telling people what to think or else seeking to ostracise those who just happen to disagree - which most people do anyway. At the bottom line I find such an approach patronising in the extreme and hardly conducive to any sort of progress at all - least of all in the real world, at least the real world I know, where nothing is clear-cut. Hell, one of my favourite singers is Robert Wyatt but I switch off once he starts coming on political.

Can we have an essentially reactionary music embodying radical politics anyway? Or does that just serve as a nice soft comfort blanket for the converted? It's been suggested that the radical aspirations of Folkies stands in diametric opposition to their innate musical & cultural conservatism. I must hold my hand up here - in my love & usage of Traditional Song and Ballad I'm hardly being in any way radical. Indeed, I've always sought out Folk Clubs to get away from reality, a form of bucolic escapism which is as true today as it was back in 1973. But then again entertainment has always been escapism for the working-classes, and I'd argue a similar escapism exists with the concerns of politicos singing songs about things that don't really affect them. One thinks immediately of Ewan's South African numbers.   

I've known you to use the term 'folk police' before now

Only in reference to Spleen's record label, surely?

I can think of nothing more police-ish than to attempt to remove a whole aspect of people's lives and concerns - especially one that has been part of our song repertoire for at least a millenium.

The co-opting of the suffering and struggle of the working-class & other oppressed majorities / minorities is hardly a concern, surely? Rather, it is a fashion of the intelligentzia, of an elite. In other words, MacColl's politics betoken the very schisms and privileges he whines on about, much less conradict his insistence that we 'sing our own'. It's about as relevant to the lives of the working-class as offerings of brown rice and tofu to the families of striking miners back in 1984.   

I wonder if you have the grace to admit that it is thanks to the efforts of MacColl and Lloyd in introducing them to the revival

Already acknowledged. But my love of ballad & folk song idioms is rooted a wee bit deeper than that, mostly in volumes that were published long before wee Jimmy Miller was even a gleam in his father's eye. My main interest has always been the Traditional singers of such material on both sides of the Atlantic, and how one might apply their example to the older, unsung ballads, many of which I used the read in childhood in huge great volumes of the things. I'm sure Ewan was coming from a similar place. But for the record I regard Ewan MacColl as one of the master interpreters of Traditional Song & Balladry of The Revival and really wish he'd evidenced that on the rare occasions I saw him instead of singing his dreadful songs about South Africa.

well worth the description "Standard Bearer" any day, in my book.

In the sense of the Living Tradition of The Revival I couldn't agree more. A key figure, without whom etc. but one with whom, for me at least, there will always be other issues, which is what we're talking about here.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 05:20 AM

PS owing to cross-post:

'breathed life into'
Never struck me that this has been Sub's contribution to the revival - he seems neither to like it or to trust it.


For the record, I think it's far more important we breath live FROM the old songs, not follow the conceit that we're breathing life INTO them, which is palpably untrue. The best Revival singers - MacColl, Bellamy, Jim Eldon - are all examples of this; they are mediums through which the life of the old songs flow. They are not giving the songs life, the songs are giving them life.

As for The Revival itself, I really think I was born too late. Do I like it? Partly. Do I trust it? Partly. Do I feel part of it? Not really. Soon as I set foot into a folk club I knew I was Post-Revival by default and I feel no differently today really. The common ground is a continuity of Popular Traditional Song & Balladry, anything else is pretty much by the by really.


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Subject: RE: Living 'Tradition' Standard Bearers?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 07:09 AM

You appear to be bullshitting again - as usual
Your opening comment on MacColl was - ""MacColl was a highly selective agenda driven left-wing propagandist"
Given the subject in hand, this is your argument for him not being a "standard bearer".
It is you who "whines on" about left politics - wonder how you would react to right wing songs - given the evidence - not a lot.
As far as his music went MacColl's politics fell into two parts - he was from a working class family and he grew up during the depression in one of the poorest cities in Britain - (Engles wrore a book based on it).
His politics were formed by his background, and when he found he was capable of doing so, he wrote songs expressing his opinions formed by his experiences - plenty of historical precedent for that. Surely you can have no objection to anybody making songs for that reason; or would you object to countrymen "whining" about being shipped to Australia for trying to feed their families by stealing game from land that was originally theirs but was enclosed by the local squire.
Harry Cox did his share of "whining" about just that - you really should try to dig out Lomax's beautiful recording of him doing so.
So MacColl's (Bert's or anybody's) left wing politics should disbar them from being considered musically important enough to be conssidered a "standard bearer".
The other side to MacColl's, Lloyd's, Hendersons....et al's politics was their advocating that folk song was the product of the (largely rural) working class; a poetic distilation of their lives and experiences.
Having spent thirty odd years ploutering around Traveller sites, or taking songs from East Anglian fishermen or carpenters, or Irish land labourers, fishermen or small farmers, or London Irish building workers.... I really don't see any great problem with that idea - perhaps the view of the tradition is different from the comfort of your armchair?
It seems your objection here is that the idividuals in question's politics don't coincide with your own - nothing more.
Jim Caroll
PS "Do I feel part of it? Not really"
Having listened to your singing - if it waddles and quacks it's almost certainly a duck. You sound like a folkie architype to me, no matter how you may see yourself. You certainly don't sound like any traditional singer I have ever listened to or met.


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